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About The IGF is presented by the UBM TechWeb Game Network, which runs the Independent Games Festival & Summit every year at Game Developers Conference. The company (producer of the Game Developers Conference series, and Game Developer magazine) established the Independent Games Festival in 1998 to encourage innovation in game development and to recognize the best independent game developers.

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Archive For January, 2011

Browser Game Pick: K.O.L.M.I.A.M. (Antony Lavelle)

January 19, 2011 7:11 PM | Michael Rose

KOLM2%282%29.jpgDid you play K.O.L.M.? It was pretty good, yeah? How about a sequel that's not quite a proper sequel, but instead a bit of an experimental take on the original game? K.O.L.M.I.A.M. stands for K.O.L.M In A Minute, and asks you to complete a series of challenges, each in the space of 60 seconds.

It's mighty enjoyable! Every challenge is linear, in that you need to collect each robot body part in the correct order, and it's usually pretty obviously which to grab and in what order... but it's definitely an interesting spin on the original formula. It's always tense stuff too, as 60 seconds is usually only just enough time to complete each level. Once you've completed the main levels, you'll then unlock Challenge mode and gain access to the Challenge scoreboard, where you can show off your skills.

So that's K.O.L.M.I.A.M., then - bite-sized pieces of K.O.L.M. to chew on. Go give it a play at Armor Games.

Browser Game Pick: Echo Bazaar (Failbetter Games)

January 19, 2011 4:23 PM | Michael Rose

Echo Bazaar is a browser-based adventure that is currently in the beta stages. You play as a prisoner who escapes from a tower in Fallen London and begins to explore the murky city. Along the way, you'll find missions and quests to complete depending on the skills you choose to improve on.

You'll need to fulfil a number of requirements to begin with, finding a place to live, choosing your main goal, and buying some clothes so you don't stand out so much. As you complete actions, your candle in the corner will burn down, and you'll have to wait a few minutes before you can do anything else (although there are certain other ways to get your candle burning properly again).

An interesting story to casually follow along with while doing other more important things me thinks. You'll need a Facebook or Twitter account to sign up and play, although you'll never be forced to post anything to either. Head over to the Echo Bazaar site to check it out.

Today I Die Again is Free for a Limited Time

January 19, 2011 3:00 PM | Tim W.

The iPhone port of Daniel Benmergui's IGF finalist competition entry is now available as a free download from the App Store for a limited time only.

Selected as our iPhone Game Pick as recently as two months ago, Today I Die Again is a remake of the original Flash version for iOS devices with new scenes included.

Mike's review of this unique app can be found here, and if you were hesitant about purchasing it before then you should grab Daniel's game from the store before it goes back to its original retail price of ninety-nine cents.

iPhone Game Pick: It's Just a Thought (Yellow Monkey Studios)

January 19, 2011 1:47 PM | Michael Rose

It's Just a Thought uses photos from your Facebook profile to create a path of memories for you to travel down. You begin by letting the game know how you're feeling and what you're thinking about, then set off down a path of neurons and other conflicting thoughts.

Along the way, you'll see pictures from your Facebook account, and touching them will add powers to your bottom bar which can be used to kill or pull other thoughts that are zooming around you. You can also leave things on the track for future playthroughs. When you eventually die, your thought is left at that point, and with enough plays you'll eventually be able to see all the past thoughts you had while playing.

The gameplay isn't exactly the most entertaining you'll play - you simply tilt the thought around the track, and leaving the path for too long will kill the thought. However, the use of Facebook integration is interesting, and fortunately doesn't make you post crap to your Facebook wall without asking first like certain other apps do.

It's Just a Thought is available to download from the App Store for $1.99.

Browser Game Pick: Fotonica (Santa Ragione)

January 18, 2011 10:15 PM | Michael Rose

Remember Tales of Unspoken World? Development team Santa Ragione has built on that original release and now gives us Fotonica. It's a one-button game about running really, really, really, face-meltingly fast.

I like to think of it like a 3D, first-person Canabalt with black and white vector visuals, but really it's much faster than that old thing. Holding down your button makes you run, while letting go will let you jump. Along the way you collect dots that will raise your score, and also give an indication of where you're meant to be jumping to.

Lovely and nippy! Go for a nice sprint over at Kongregate.

Browser Game Pick: Starborn (Juhana Leinonen)

January 18, 2011 9:00 PM | Tim W.

Starborn is a short interactive fiction work that tells the story of a protagonist who has lived his entire life in space, yearning to visit the planet called Earth that he has only heard about but never truly visited.

Juhana had designed the game to be extremely accessible for everyone. Every keyword that you need can be found in the descriptive text, and you can bring up a summary of the available keywords in any location by pressing the L key. This eliminates all of the guesswork often required in most other interactive fiction games, and you can just immerse yourself in the story without worrying about getting stuck or trying to figure out what the developer wants you to do next.

Starborn takes about five to ten minutes to play through. (source: C.E.J. Pacian)

Freeware Game Pick: Kruunu (Jukio Kallio)

January 18, 2011 6:00 PM | Tim W.

Kruunu is a fun little platform adventure in which you play as a blue character who is after a crown at the top of a very tall tower. According to the legend told by the elders in his village, anyone who successfully retrieves this treasure will be hailed as the ruler of the entire kingdom.

There's nothing special about the story, other than being the perfect setup for the challenge that awaits the brave yet foolish player who dares to seek out the ultimate prize. Besides the usual jump ability, our hero can also slide down walls or leap off them when the same action button is pressed. You can also run off the edge of a screen and appear on the other side, leading to some interesting puzzles to solve as you move higher and closer to your reward for completing the journey. Note that you'll have to be quick with your ascent as well, since an electrical beam will follow you from below and fry our little guy if he's not fast enough or miss a jump and fall some distance downwards.

You can download Kruunu from Jukio's site. (Windows, 6.02MB)

XBL Indie Game Pick: Aban Hawkins & the 1000 Spikes (8bits fanatics)

January 18, 2011 3:26 PM | Michael Rose

When I first watch the trailer for Aban Hawkins & the 1000 Spikes, my initial thought was 'oh jeez, that game is going to destroy me'. Aban Hawkins is on a mission to dodge the traps and find the priceless idols - which is far more difficult than it sounds, as traps will pop out of the ground without warning and kill you in an instant.

And yet, now that I've actually played the game, it actually isn't too frustrating after all. Sure, you'll die a stupid number of times - you have 1000 lives to begin with - but levels aren't too lengthy, so even when you're sent back to the start, you know you'll be able to get back to that section of the level within a good 30 seconds.

I love the retro visual style too, providing enough charm that when I get killed by yet another bastarding set of spikes popping out of the ground unexpectedly, I pull my angry face for a moment before giving the game a little wink and saying 'I can't stay mad at you, baby'. Or something like that.

For 80 MS Points ($1) and a huge number of levels to play through, me thinks this is a bargain you should grab. Make sure to at least pick up the demo on your ol' Xbox Three Sixty.

A.R.E.S. : Extinction Agenda on Steam Tomorrow, Win a Copy Today

January 18, 2011 12:08 PM | Michael Rose

A.R.E.S. : Extinction Agenda was released just before Christmas, and you may well have missed it - which would be a horrible shame, as it's a very beautiful ride indeed. The game is to be released on Steam tomorrow, giving me an excuse to mention it again and urge you to at least try out the demo.

We've got five copies of the game to give away today, so you can have it on Steam before anyone else. So how can you claim one of these lines of random letters and numbers with dashes in between? Simple - make sure you're following @indiegamescom on Twitter, and we'll start throwing the codes out at 5pm GMT, first come first served.

For more details about the game, check out our Indie Game Pick feature.

Indie Game Links: Inventions and Competitions

January 18, 2011 12:00 PM | Tim W.

Today's collection of independent game links includes more indie game previews, a couple of development updates, and interviews with developers from around the 'net. (image source)

Game Jolt: Invention Contest
"This particular contest is being hosted and sponsored by NAL. The theme is 'invention', and you can interpret it in any way you want."

Ragtime Games: Introducing Continuity 2
"Since we released the original Continuity back in 2009, people have been telling us how well Continuity's tile-sliding gameplay would suit iOS. We agree. But don't just take our word for it, watch the embedded video to see a quick example of the game running on iPhone."

GameSetWatch: Fotonica Continues Where Tales Of Unspoken World Left Off
"Last year, indie developer Santa Ragione introduced us to Tales Of Unspoken World, an exhilarating running game that had much in common with Canabalt, except presented with 3D vector graphics and a first-person perspective. Santa Ragione has since revamped that project into Fotonica, adding one-button controls, new levels, an infinite mode, difficulty settings, and more."

GamerBytes: Ska Studios On ZP2KX, The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile
"In 2010 Ska Studios developed ZP2KX - Zombies and Pterodactyls 20XX for XBLIG and will be releasing The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile in 2011, and then Charlie Murder in 2012. We spoke to James Silva about his experiences in 2010 as he expands his team from just one guy to a couple."

Indie Game Review: Onslaught! Arena brings the killer waves
"Originally designed for Boing Boing's Games Inspired by Music contest, Onslaught! Arena was further developed and rammed full of content. The full game is a high speed affair requiring steady nerves, and constant movement. Early stages will trot out a few targets to bring down, and later stages will barrage you with fiendish combinations of enemies."

A Hardy Developer's Journal: Interview with thecatamites
"We tracked down the man responsible for Space Funeral and asked him some tough questions: how does he feel about betraying Adventure Game Studio to do this blockbuster hit, what is so astonishing about Captain Skull, and how does one exactly deal with Too Many Kittens."

Swing Swing Submarine: IGF 2011 Finalists and favorites
"Last November, when we discovered the 400 entrants for the main competition, we made a list of our favorite games. Some are finalists, some others are not. Of course there were quite famous games in this selection, but we'll not talk about them today. So, here are 9 'not so famous' games that we really want you to discover: our 2011 IGF Main Competition's favorites."

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: Recettear Post Mortem
"Given the recent announcement that Chantelise will be Carpe Fulgur's next project, it seemed like a good time to chat with the team's Andrew Dice about what happened, what he expected to happen, more about Chantelise's when and why, and what games they're hoping to turn their attention to next."

TIGSource: Versus Competition
"For the TIGSource Versus competition, the rules are simple: make a game that pits at least one human player versus another human player. The rest is up to you. The game must at least run on Win32 platforms, and there are no prizes involved."

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